Published January 1, 2002.
Bad profiteroles are misshapen, underrisen, soggy affairs. Great profiteroles are crisp and delicate—and they can be made at home in just 90 minutes.
Unfortunately, perfect profiteroles are often enjoyed only in the abstract, as those served in many restaurants are dismal representations. Stale and indelicate, with a texture somewhere between damp cardboard and Styrofoam, these prefabbed pastries must be cut with a knife, and the accompanying sauce only hints at bittersweet chocolate flavor. Having multiple components and a high-maintenance look, profiteroles seem beyond the reach of a home cook.
Profiteroles might just be the most perfect dessert in existence: crisp, tender, and airy pastry encasing cold, creamy ice cream and napped by dark, luxurious chocolate sauce.
Use both milk and water for puffs that are crispy and brown nicely. Use the strength of a food processor (instead of your own) to incorporate whole eggs into the choux paste, and bake on an uncrowded baking sheet to keep the puffs from collapsing. Slit the puffs immediately upon baking to release steam and then return to the oven to dry out for 45 minutes to insure crispness. For easiest assembly, scoop the ice cream onto a chilled baking sheet, then split puffs and fill all at once. Serve with our quick, flavorful Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce.list of recipes